Nov 3 2018

perfection

is a burden best discarded

.

i remember when you wanted to fight
about aphrodite

as if she were the threat
we needed to shield ourselves from

.

i remember all the light and love you sent
while the world was burning

the way you insulated yourself from reality
with yoga pants and fancy names for scented candles

(me, too)

.

i remember the shade you cast on all the words
you disagreed with

.

i want it all back

.

the irritation
the aggravation
the application

.

i want to laugh at bad jokes and
drunk-dance to sap-rock playlists

or whisper superstition while drawing
hexes in midnight circles

.

i want to pretend it doesn’t matter

i want i want i want i want

i want

.

there are words and then
there are words

.

we’ve forgotten what it’s like to be human

.

artificial intelligence is the oracle of pretense

.

tomorrow has always been uncertain
(and we pretend, now, that uncertain
is the same as unpredictable)

.

men have always been aggressors
women, protectors

(so they say)

.

mother earth, mother nature, mother mother
madonna-whore

.

roles reverse

.

we all want happy endings
and reality offers only
rainbow compromise

.

we learn from silence
but grow only in the
brutal fire of light

.

i said something once that meant something

in a dream somewhere with no one listening

.

you are my consummate nightmare

.

not you, of course

.

but you
standing there
all smiles

.

i remember the flames,
licking

.

every battle is bound
to be fought
in circles

.

i bend my will
to straight horizon

round earth

golden
reflection

.

.

 

.

.

.


Oct 29 2018

trust me

a grocery-store rose
never smells as good
as one grown outside in the garden.

having said that,
a grocery-store rose
is better than no rose at all.

and both will die with the same poignant beauty.

life is complicated.

life is simple.

life is living.

we like to pretend (in our heads)
that it’s more than that.

but really, that’s all there is:
living.

in between there is grace—
as hard to grasp as a thorn.

you think i don’t know what i’m talking about.

you are absolutely correct.

also,

never trust a rose.

.

.

.


Oct 27 2018

edge

this cliff
by a lake
on the side
of forgiveness

.

or sanity

.

broken wing
prevents flight
but still
mirrors falcon
.

you choose

.

.

.

.


Oct 18 2018

yes, i will dance with you

but not because we’re partners
or even romantic dreamers
but because
that is just the way of things
this two step
wide waltz
samba
tango
cha cha
rubbing me raw
even as it burns
the corners
of my sanity

mist and smoke
are indiscernible
from a distance

and i
am yours
on the edge
of this loon lake
water
mountain

rising high
through cold waves
to block
the valiant tendrils
of another
persistent-colored
grey day
sunrise

.

.

.


Oct 7 2018

the way things sometimes are

i sat on a deck
by a lake
in the mountains

and watched a bat
fill the sky
with pattern

miles and miles and miles
away
things were being broken

hearts
laws
a country

a document
we’ve forgotten
to remember

the same idiot wind
playing loud
in both places

burning holes
in an atmosphere
of calm

silence is a lie
we tell ourselves
at dusk

transparent wings
gently flapping

.

.

.

title and idiot wind ~ bob dylan. photo by my three-year-old granddaughter.

Sep 11 2018

nine eleven

seventeen years later
that’s what we call it

not nine eleven oh one
not September 11, 2001
just
nine eleven

two words

three digits

two towers

four planes

thousands

of

mothers
fathers
daughters
sons
sisters
brothers
wives
husbands
aunts
uncles
girlfriends
boyfriends

not statistics

falling

from

the

sky

not dates
or where were you’s

just whole hearts
in odd numbers

each one

the only necessary

evidence

of love

::

.

.

I wrote this for the 10-year anniversary
of this tragic, horrid event.
I am re-posting it again today, in honor of all those hearts.
Never forget.

.


Aug 20 2018

in my yard

the trees are dying.

okay, only two out of seven
but they’re my favorite two and
when i walk outside
to listen to whispers

i hear the sounds of mourning.

.

already
i feel time slipping through bent fingers

already
i’ve picked a place to bury sun-bleached bones

already
i’m learning the words
to a song i’d prefer not to sing

.

that’s not to say
i don’t watch the sunset

that’s not to say
i don’t smile when the moon
knocks on my window

that’s not to say
i don’t sing with the robin at sunrise

it’s just to say
i notice.

the trees are dying.

.

.

.


Jul 19 2018

my swamp, your swamp,
we all have a swamp

Mine lives just down the road, at the bottom of a hill I don’t climb often enough.

There are all sorts of metaphors I could spin around swamps, all sorts of things to say about current events.

Suffice it to say the last 18 months have been rough, in so many ways.

For now, the swamp is still there. It’s been a dry couple of months, so I won’t be surprised if it evaporates again this year. The fish will die, the air will smell, the herons, egrets, and vultures will have a party.

I will miss the reflection of sky as I drive by.

I will miss the serenity and the promise of intrigue that bodies of water always offer.

I will miss the geese who have nowhere to land.

I will miss the comfort of home.

I will despair, briefly, at all the mud and the loss and the injustice.
(I don’t do well with injustice).

One day it will rain again.

Puddles will grow and water will flow.

I’ll complain about the basement flooding.

The birds will return and the sun will shine and the cycle will begin, again.

At least that’s what I want to believe.

. . .

the crows wait by the side
as i skirt the puffed body
of an unfortunate car-naive groundhog

. . .

I hold my breath and keep walking,
metaphors lining my pockets.

. . .

.

.

.


Jul 16 2018

how high’s the water now, mama?

. . .

when we all have wet feet and broken hearts and crooked arrows

incredulity becomes reality and mud sticks between toes

that refuse to stop walking

shutupshutupshutupshutup

the slap of heels on grooved wet pavement

it just keeps raining (pouring)

salt in old wounds

no time to heal

no time

time

on time

an hourglass

of sacrificial sand

it just keeps raining (pouring)

the slap of heels on grooved wet pavement

shutupshutupshutupshutup

that refuse to stop walking

incredulity becomes reality and mud sticks between toes

when we all have wet feet and broken hearts and crooked arrows

. . .

 

 


Jan 1 2018

the first

a frozen sunrise
leaps between trees shocked
by the cold of reality
on a morning left behind
by a year
marked with double-time
mis-step
black heels pounding
history’s false rhythm
good evil
light dark
black white
grey pavement winding
forward
the only
right
direction

.

.

.

Joining in over at dVersePoets for Quadrille.